Council to Set New Policy For Open Records Requests

Council to Set New Policy
For Open Records Requests

The Addison City Council is considering a new policy on open records requests after the City Secretary has been inundated with requests for information.

At the Council meeting on Feb. 24, 2015, Deputy City Manager Cheryl Delaney reported that freedom of information requests doubled from 2013 to 2014 after remaining relatively stable since 2009. Some freedom of information requests are relatively easy to respond to, she explained, but others require extensive research, redacting and consultations with the city attorney. In the past, the staff has decided, on a case by case basis, when to charge for requests, depending on the detail of the work involved.

Mayor Todd Meier called attention to the recent Dallas Morning News article in which Addison got an A+ in responsiveness to open records request but he also noted that Addison’s expenses of $46,000 topped the list of expenditures by various levels of government.

After the staff conducts a study with neighboring communities to see how they handle FOI requests, City Manager Lea Dunn will ask the Council to set an open records policy. She also noted that Addison’s new policy, when adopted, would have to adhere to the state attorney general’s Public Information Cost Model.